Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has shared her concerns about the 2021 NBA All-Star Game being hosted in Atlanta. In a recent statement, she described the event as a "made-for-TV event" and encouraged fans not to travel to the city of the event.
"People should not travel to Atlanta to party," she said.
The 2021 NBA All-Star Weekend was originally scheduled to take place in Indianapolis, Indiana this month, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the pandemic, many thought the event would be scrapped altogether. However, the league made the surprising decision to move the game to the city of Atlanta. On March 7, the NBA will host an All-Star Game and possibly a dunk contest at halftime. Additional events such as the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, Rising Stars Challenge and NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show have been called off.
"Under normal circumstances, we would be extremely grateful for the opportunity to host the NBA All-Star game, but this is not a typical year," Bottoms explained.
"I have shared my concerns related to public health and safety with the NBA and Atlanta Hawks. We are in agreement that this is a made-for-TV event only, and people should not travel to Atlanta to party."
She is not the only one to express these concerns and frustrations. Earlier this month, Los Angeles Lakers Forward LeBron James and Sacramento Kings Guard De'Aaron Fox both said that they were not thrilled about the league hosting an All-Star Game during a pandemic.
"If I'm going to be brutally honest, I think it's stupid," Fox said on Wednesday.
"If we have to wear a mask and do all of this for a regular game, then what's the point of bringing the All-Star Game back?"
In spite of their frustrations, the league will move forward with its 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Georgia at Phillips Arena.
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